Russian intervention in Syria 82 months on | Russian warplanes commit massacre in Putin-Erdogan area, while Russian and Turkish forces conduct routine patrols amid marked decline in Russian activity in Syrian desert
At a time when Russia’s plans are proceeding with their 82nd consecutive month of involvement in the Syrian crisis, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has monitored and tracked the recent developments during the tenth month of the seventh year of the Russian intervention in Syria. This month has experienced a decline in Russian activities and military operations in light of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. These key developments can be summarized regionally as follows:
In “Putin-Erdogan” area, Russian fighter jets executed 24 airstrikes in Idlib countryside, leaving seven people dead; they are four children and three men.
Here are further details of Russian aerial bombardment:
• July 6: Russian fighter jets carried out 12 raids in the vicinity of Bayanin, Ruwayha and Shannan, south of Idlib.
• July 12: Two Russian fighter jets carried out eight airstrikes on the perimeter of the villages of Mashon and Belshon in Jabal Al-Zawiyah near M 4 International highway.
• July 22: A Russian fighter jet carried out a horrific massacre in Al-Jadidah village, north of Jisr Al-Shughur, Idlib countryside, targeting the area with four airstrikes. This attack left seven people dead, and they are as follows:
• Four children of one family.
• Two men.
• An unidentified person.
Moreover, more than 11 displaced persons sustained various injuries in this massacre.
In the 82nd month of Russian military operations in Syria, SOHR activists document the death of five ISIS members and injury of 13 others in nearly 200 Russian airstrikes on their positions in the Syrian desert, mostly killed in Al-Raqqah desert, Deir Ezzor, Homs and Aleppo-Hama-Al-Raqqah triangle.
In the past month, Russian and Turkish forces conducted six joint patrols. Three joint patrols were conducted in Al-Hasakah countryside near Syria-Turkey border, on the 30th of June, and on the 14th and 28th of July. While the rest three patrols were conducted in Aleppo province at Syria-Turkey border in Ain Al-Arab countryside on the 4th, 18th, and the 25th of July.
Moreover, areas controlled by Autonomous Administration in north-east of Syria and areas controlled by Kurdish forces in Aleppo countryside have also witnessed intensive movements by Russian forces through bringing in reinforcements, conducting sole patrols and flying Russian aircraft on a daily basis in light of propaganda of potential Turkish military operation in the region.
Meanwhile, on July 24, Tension rose between SDF and Russian forces in Ain Issa district, north of ِAl-Raqqahfollowing a disagreement between both sides during popular protests. According to Observatory sources, protestors gathered in front of the Russian base in Ain Issa, demanding the Russian interfere and exert pressure on Turkish forces to stop their violent bombardment, but Russian forces told the protestors that they have nothing to do with this bombardment. Accordingly, SDF prevented Russian patrols from leaving Ain Issa or being deployed around the Russian base, before the disagreement between both sides reached an end.
As the months passes, the Syrians suffer the scourge of the Russian intervention, which seems to resemble a kind of revenge and retaliation against Syrians for protesting against the regime that committed the worst violations against its own people. At a time when the map of alliances and power balances is changing, Russia has become the ultimate winner, succeeding in helping the Syrian regime regain control over about two-thirds of the country after losing control of most of its territory. Moscow used the pretext of “the war on terror” to commit massacres against civilians, and sponsored and struck agreements which soon after abandoned. Moscow and its war machine have spilt the blood of Syrians despite claiming to be a “political mediator” or “broker” that can deal with all parties to the conflict.
With all recent changes in the balance of powers, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights renews its appeals to the international community to put pressure on Russia to stop its aggression against the Syrians, and to find a political solution to end the Syrian crisis that completed its eleventh year.